Many women find themselves working through a pregnancy. If you’re one of them, you want to continue to perform at a high level while taking the best possible care of yourself and your little one. Here are some tips to help you accomplish both goals.
Be careful not to over-exert yourself, which can affect your baby’s health and increase your risk of going into labor early. Short, frequent breaks can be helpful. If you’re able to take a short nap during lunch, you’ll be surprised at how refreshed you feel.
Watch out for stress. While every job has stress, try to remain focused on the positive and find stress relief tactics that work for you.
Wear comfortable shoes. Your feet will swell during the day, so shop for shoes in the evening to ensure a better fit. This is one time in your life when support matters more than style. And put your feet up when possible to help alleviate that swelling.
Take bathroom breaks. During the last trimester, you may feel like you’re visiting the restroom every few minutes, but not listening to your body in this regard can lead to urinary tract infections.
Eat several small meals during the day rather than three big ones, to keep your blood sugar levels consistent and help even out mood swings.
Bring your own food and snacks with you to work, since going out exposes your weakened immune system to a higher risk of illness or infection. And drink plenty of water and fresh juice.
If you’re dealing with morning sickness, keep a small bottle of mouthwash and baby wipes on hand. You’ll be glad you did.
Finally, be willing to ask for help. If you need to adjust your workload or schedule to ensure your health and you have the ability to do so, consider this option. Don’t try to be superwoman. Accept help when it’s offered. And keep your doctor’s emergency number on your desk and in your bag at all times.
What NOT to say to a Pregnant Co-Worker
If one of your co-workers is expecting, following these simple rules can help you avoid saying something you’ll regret.
- If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Never describe her as “big,” “huge” or “enormous.”
- If a woman hasn’t told you she’s pregnant, don’t ask. Ever.
- Never ask a woman if she’s having twins. Just don’t.
- Don’t ask to touch her pregnant belly. If you don’t normally touch your co-workers’ stomachs, this is no time to start. If she’s open to it, she’ll extend the invitation.
Ronald L. Wright, MD
Attending Physician, OB/GYN
Originally from Muskegon, Michigan, Dr. Wright received his BA from Tulane University, then went on to graduate from the University of Louisville Medical School. From there, Dr. Wright completed his OB/GYN residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. From general and high-risk obstetrics to incontinence and infertility including laparoscopy, Dr. Wright provides complete care to women of all ages. He and his wife Jennifer have two children. Dr. Wright is a council member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, volunteers at A Woman’s Choice Resource Center and is a member of Southeast Christian Church.